Rep. Cheryl Helmer, R-Mulvane, announced Tuesday that she has filed to run for a second term.

Helmer has represented District 79 in the Kansas House of Representatives, which includes Winfield, since being elected in 2018.

In her emailed announcement, Helmer said she is focused on improving our schools by supporting children and teachers without “raising taxes and throwing money at our problems.” She also called not providing enough licensed teachers for children “the worst type of child abuse.”

Helmer also said foster care must be structured and organized to help youth progress, and that she is focused on balancing taxes and fixing that state budget.

Contacted by phone Wednesday, Helmer said the Winfield school district’s excellent Jobs For America’s Graduates (JAG) system could provide an example for other school districts to help foster children make it to graduation.

On the budget and taxes, Helmer said high taxes have driven people out of the state, leaving those who continue to live here with an even higher tax burden. She is also disappointed that Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, hasn’t helped to lower the state food tax. 

Other issues mentioned by Helmer were the importance of agriculture and the economy; infrastructure safety; and drainage projects/groundwater control. Helmer also mentioned she is pro-life.

Helmer has been trying to get an Army Corps of Engineers survey done for the Belle Plaine area, which is part of her district, so that area can be eligible for FEMA funds in case of a major flooding event, such as the type that happened last year.

Helmer’s first term as a representative was not without some controversy. 

In February 2019, she was named as a co-sponsor on two Kansas House bills intended to protect and promote traditional marriage. Helmer later removed herself as a co-sponsor and apologized for supporting the bills after receiving pushback, saying she hadn’t fully read the bills before signing them.

In July 2019, during a town hall organized by U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran in Mulvane, she claimed Sedgwick County was a sanctuary county for illegal immigrants. The comment drew a response from Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter, who said the false claim was based on the county’s actions in response to court decisions that have since been resolved.

Helmer said she is op[en to comments and suggestions from constituents. She can be contacted at (785) 296-7691 or Cheryl.Helmer@house.ks.gov.

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